The Lost Books of the Odyssey
After ten years’ journeying Odysseus returns, again and again, to Ithaca. Each time he finds something different: his patient wife Penelope has betrayed him and married; his arrival accelerates time and he watches his family age and die in front of him; he walks into an empty house in ruins; he returns but is so bored he sets sail again to repeat his voyage; he comes back to find Penelope is dead.
In these forty-four retellings of passages from Homer’s Odyssey, Zachary Mason uses Homer’s linear narrative and explodes it: presenting alternative and contradictory fragments of familiar stories – the Trojan Horse, the Cyclops, Circe, the Sirens – allowing us to see Homer’s masterpiece afresh. Elegant, provocative and utterly fascinating, The Lost Books of the Odyssey seems destined to become a modern classic.
"A subtle, inventive and moving meditation on the nature of story and what Louis MacNeice calls 'the drunkenness of things being various'" -- John Banville "Dazzling...an ingeniously Borgesian novel that's witty, playful, moving and tirelessly inventive. Mr. Mason has found a supple, lyrical voice in these pages that captures the spirit of the original Odyssey and at the same time feels freshly contemporary...a stunning and hypnotic novel" * New York Times * "Spellbinding. In his versions of these ancient myths Mason twists and jinks, renegotiating the journey to Ithaca with all the guile and trickery of Odysseus himself" -- Simon Armitage "A small triumph...the invention on display is beguiling...He offers the reader a book of intellectual fireworks that also manages to be wonderfully entertaining" * Sunday Times * "Impressive" * Guardian *
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